NEW YORK —
Ed Diener, an authority on happiness research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said optimism probably plays a role because it helps people persist in their efforts and take on difficult goals. Since several studies, including his own, have now linked happiness to later income, that idea seems reliable, he said.
Parents should recognize that "the psychological well-being of their children is important in how well the kids will do in simple dollar terms later on," Oswald said. And unhappy people should realize that they might have to strive harder than others to focus on work and promotion rather than their unhappiness, he said.